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Sitecore connectors for Salesforce: tested and fully approved

Content Management Systems have become a commodity and their features no longer serve as differentiators so it seems. The concept of the CMS has become a commodity and are now available in all kinds of shapes and forms. In order to differentiate, digital web platforms tend to offer additional advanced capabilities, to further evolve toward digital experience platforms that offer features such as: A/B testing, analyticspersonalization, visitor profiling, user segmentation, multi-channel, machine learning, big datadata integration, platform connectivity. A perfect example of data integration and platform connectivity is the integration between Sitecore and Salesforce that helps deliver highly customized experiences by enabling marketers to better understand and follow customer behavior and preferences. 
 

Sitecore connectors for Salesforce

Sitecore offers two possible connectors towards Salesforce, available as from version 9 and higher. 
These connectors are well documented and receive good support from the services team. Setup of the connectors is realized through the installation of a number of packages in Sitecore. This requires configuration changes to the actual project as well as some modifications to the project solution to set up the correct link towards your Salesforce environment. All the other configuration work is done directly inside Sitecore or Salesforce .

sitecore connectors for salesforce

Sitecore connector for Sales Cloud

The Sitecore connector focusses primarily on the exchange of profile information to and from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, meaning that the connector allows you to have Sitecore experience profiles synchronized into Sales Cloud contacts. This integration is bidirectional, allowing Sales Cloud contacts to be synchronized back to Sitecore. If additional facets would be required to be synchronized, these can be made available in the system as properties or facets on the contacts. Adding facets in Sitecore is partly configuration work, but also requires some code changes to help define the facets.

In addition, the connector allows for CRM tasks, assigned to a Sales Cloud contact, to be synchronized into the timeline of the experience profile inside Sitecore.

Below, you can see the various tasks offered by the Sales Cloud connector:

salesforce sitecore connector

Sitecore connector for Marketing Cloud

This connector provides two functionalities:

  1. Synchronizing structure and assets from the Media Library towards the Marketing Cloud content builder 
  2. Synchronizing behavioral and contact data towards Marketing Cloud

Configuration inside Sitecore allows for one or more media library folders to be selected for synchronization. The assets contained in these media library folders can then be used inside Marketing Cloud to enrich mailings as well as content created with Marketing Cloud. 

The integration of behavioral data between Sitecore and Marketing Cloud is based on making lists and segments, created in Sitecore, which can in turn be made available in Marketing Cloud, as data extensions, for use in Journey Builder, Email Studio and the Content Builder.

Looking at the rapid development of the new connectors, more functionalities are expected to come.

Below, you can see the configuration for the Marketing Cloud connector with a single folder configured:

marketing cloud connector

Below, you can see the Sitecore Media Library inside Marketing Cloud Content Builder:

sitecore media library inside marketing cloud content builder

Why connect Sitecore and Salesforce?

Providing the right data and content to your visitor has proven to be invaluable on both your digital experience platform (DXP) as on the CRM system.

Connecting Sitecore and Salesforce creates a cross-product data synchronization that helps guide customers/prospects in their online and offline journey. When you provide the right content or support to a visitor, you lower the amount of interactions your visitors needs to send information and you remove the struggle of your visitors when he needs to provide the same information across multiple platforms or sessions.

Creating a more complete overview of a contact will help a marketer to set up easier personalization routes as well as placing a contact in the right verticals/profiles.
And with the expanding capabilities of the integration towards Marketing Cloud, it is now possible to leverage Sitecore behavioral data to be used in the various Marketing Cloud tools as well as the Journey Builder.

Integration between Sitecore and Salesforce helps deliver highly customized experiences

The proof of the pudding is…

When new features are released on a platform, we pride ourselves on the fact that we evaluate on the capabilities and ease of use before we take things to the next level. We therefore put these connectors to the test.

The test-scenario that we used for this evaluation was actually quite extensive. We needed to have a platform on which we could test the exchange of data using both connectors while performing a real-life scenario.

The use-case scenario

In order to test both connectors, we had to come up with a scenario to showcase the benefits for both the visitor as well the marketer.

Based on a copy of our corporate website, we started with a visitor registering to our monthly newsletter. This kicked off the entire flow during which we build up the experience profile in Sitecore’s xDB.

Through use of the first connector (Sitecore connector to Sales Cloud), this experience profile synchronized over into Sales Cloud to create or update a contact there. In this case we solely based identification on the email address of the visitor whereas ideally a compound key would be used.

A view of the newly created contact in Sales Cloud. Notice that we can see the Sitecore Id which is used to piggyback into the experience contact within Sitecore.

the first connector demo

Our scenario continues with the marketer setting up the event, registration page, journey and finally the actual email. During this set-up we leverage the value of the cross-product data exchange.

Ultimately, the demo scenario showcases the profile buildup across the various steps.

Interested in the full demo? Have a chat with us. We are more than happy to showcase the scenario and capabilities of the connectors.

SHOW ME THE DEMO

Conclusion

  • The Sitecore connectors create good cross-platform data exchanges
  • Configuration of the connectors is required but well documented
  • Having connected platforms allows for a more relevant customer experience
  • Complete profiling opens up possibilities for specific personalization
  • More releases of the existing connectors have been announced and will expand on the capabilities of the integration
We will be present at the Salesforce Basecamp event in Tour & Taxis (Tuesday, June 25th) at the Emakina group booth. Reach out to us and come experience the full demo.

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